Why Study English at The Purbeck School?

Literacy and the ability to read, write and communicate are at the heart of learning and of later successes in life.  At The Purbeck School, we take enormous pride in our ability to challenge students in these three core areas in order to help them reach their potential.  Through engaging lessons which stimulate discussion, we foster an environment in which students are confident in their ability to express their understanding and opinions on a wide range of texts – both fiction and non-fiction.  We promote a culture in which reading is celebrated and through strong links with the ‘Learning Resources Centre’, we are able to encourage students to read for pleasure so that they develop the literacy skills needed to become increasingly confident in their ability to express their own ideas and opinions. The novels and plays we have chosen to study contain timeless themes such as ‘inequality’, ‘abuse of power’ and remain entirely relevant and engaging for students today.

Each year we try to enrich our curriculum by allowing students opportunities to see texts in context. In the past we have taken students to see productions such as ‘War Horse’, ‘An Inspector Calls’, ‘Curious Incident of the dog in the Nighttime’ and ‘Matilda’. We also encourage our students to write for real audiences by setting termly competitions within the faculty.


How is English taught?

  • KS3 – Students are taught in mixed ability classes for seven hours each fortnight.
  • KS4 – Students are taught in mixed ability classes for eight hours each fortnight.
  • KS5 – Students are taught (normally shared across two members of staff) for nine hours each fortnight.


Rationale and ambition for The Purbeck School English Curriculum:

  • Our English curriculum aims to transmit a culturally enriching knowledge of literature to students by drawing from the literary Canon and also texts that reflect wider voices in a diverse society, developing the cultural capital of students at the school.
  • Our English curriculum aims to develop empathetic and engaged citizens through careful text choice, reflecting contemporary concerns and debates such as those about class, gender and intolerance and discrimination.
  • Our English curriculum aims to support students in developing confidence in expressing their own views and opinions.
  • Our English curriculum aims to prepare students for work and life through the development of soft skills such as communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving, public speaking and leadership.
  • Our English Curriculum aims to offer suitable challenge to students of all abilities.


Key concepts:

The concepts that The Purbeck School English curriculum aims to support student progression in are:

  • Understanding of text structure and coherence.
  • Understanding of spelling, punctuation and grammatical rules.
  • Understanding that all texts are written with intent behind them and that all texts have impact on readers.
  • Understanding the impact that contextual factors has on all texts.
  • Understanding how to use evidence from texts to support personal viewpoints.
  • Understanding how writers choose from a variety of methods to communicate to readers and audiences.
  • Understand how to experiment with written and spoken language.


Useful links:

National Curriculum English: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study

GCSE and A level Specifications: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english


Long Term Overview


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